Business Development

A Detailed Overview Of The Top 10 Largest Shipping Companies In The World

Largest Shippers In The World

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The shipping industry has made a huge impact on the global economy. It is more like the backbone of the entire international trade. Around 11 billion tons of goods are moved from one place to another, every single year.  

For an effortless transportation of goods and packages, a good and effective supply chain is crucial. To execute such effective transportation, there are global logistics leaders who are playing a huge role in operating the industry.  

From moving vessels to connecting different parts through a potential network, logistics companies have been essential to making an impact.  

The Top 10 Largest Shippers In The World  

Here are the top 10 largest shippers in the world who are currently reshaping the logistics industry.  

1. A.P. Moller-Maersk Group 

A.P. Moller-Maersk Group 

In 1904, A.P. Moller-Maersk was founded by Arnold Peter Møller and his father, Peter Mærsk Møller. They aimed to start a Danish shipping and logistics company.  

With a strong history of over a century, the company is providing transportation services to almost every corner of the globe. A.P. Moller-Maersk’s recent contract with Danish Crown is for inland and cold-chain logistics by using digital blockchain technology.  

By the year 2050, the company had committed to going carbon-zero and reducing its footprints.   

2. Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) 

Mediterranean Shipping Company

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) was founded in 1970 by the Aponte family. The company first started its journey with a single-vessel operation.  

After 51 years of their long journey, now they have established themselves as one of the largest global container businesses.  

MSC has employed 60000 people worldwide, proving their storing presence on the international platform.  

MSC has recently acquired another German-based logistics company HHLA and made a successful partnership.   

3. CMA CGM Group 

CMA CGM Group 

CMA CGM Group is another strong contender to become the largest shippers list in the world. Jacques Saadé started the business in 1978 with an aim to transport goods from one location to another.   

As for their fleet strength, they have over 593 vessels engaged in container shipping connecting over 160 countries across the world. They have a total of 155000 employees working for the company to provide a quality service.  

The recent update from CMA CGM has discussed how they focus on increasing their overall efficiency. In addition, they will also work on upgrading their fleets.     

CMA CGM aims to improve environmental sustainability. It has started investing in new LNG-powered container ships.  

4. COSCO Shipping

COSCO Shipping 

COSCO was founded in 2016. At present, the company has its headquarters, situated in Shanghai. COSCO aims to provide effortless moving services and cargo for the logistics and supply chain.  

According to March 2020 data, COSCO shipping is one of the largest shippers in the world. They currently have over 1310 vessels for their operation. This enterprise still possesses one of the largest and most efficient fleets in the Chinese shipping industry. 

Their strategic positioning in China has also helped them to create a potential network.  

5. Hapag-Lloyd 


Hapag-Lloyd is a German-based shipping company. It is also responsible for container transportation services. Currently, positioning itself as the fourth largest shipper in the world, the company aims for “in-depth market research and gaining customer insights.”  

They believe that they need to focus on using such analysis and insights to provide outstanding customer service.  

With a strength of 266 modern ships under their operation, Hapag-Lloyd is trying to focus on being environmentally friendly and involve themselves in innovative solutions.  

6. Evergreen Marine Corporation 

Evergreen Marine Corporation 

Established by Dr. Yung-Fa Chang on September 1st, 1968, Evergreen Marine Corporation started its journey in the shipping industry. Although the company is only 15 years old, it has achieved huge success in its own history.  

The company is operating in an efficient fleet of 200 containers. Evergreen Marine Group has also successfully developed a well-planned service network of five continents.  

With its innovative concepts and sufficient cargo ships, the company has become one of the largest shippers in the world.  

7. China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) 

China Shipping Container Lines

Other than COSCO, China has another famous logistics company CSCL, which has made its way to the largest shippers of the world list.   

CSCL merged and reorganized itself as the COSCO shipping industry in 2016. As listed as the world’s largest shipping company, CSCL currently holds the seventh position globally.  

As the company started reorganizing, CSCL and COSCO focused on their container shipment and terminal services. During the merging process, CSCL also specialized in financing and leasing containers. 

Their strategic movement and merging aimed for better stability, ability to compete, and establish sustainability in their operation. 

8. Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) 

Hyundai Merchant Marine

In 1976, HMM started its logistics journey from its Seoul headquarters and currently operating in South Korea. Through its effective strategic planning and effort, the company placed itself among the largest shippers in the world.  

HMM is highly responsible for providing cargo shipping. Their services include containers and a huge number of cargo carriers.  

The company is transporting goods to different parts of the world, from crude oil and LNG to other diverse products.  

According to May 2023 data, Hyundai MM has 74 vessels in its fleet, with a total capacity of approximately twenty-foot-equivalent units. The company owns 37 ships, while the rest are chartered.   

9. Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation 

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation was established in 1972, focusing on container transportation. Their main service route comprises Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, and the United States.

Lee Hong-Chung first established the company with a vision to provide excellent transportation.  

Yang Ming owns 98 vessels, representing 6 million DWT and an operating capacity of 590000 TEU.  

This Taiwan-based company focuses on using ECO insight performance management, along with a Navigator insight. This will help the company to have a detailed overview of the vessels.  

While making an impact on global trade, as one of the largest shippers in the world, Yang Ming always focuses on protecting the environment. They tend to follow all kinds of rules and regulations even in their operation.  

From reducing carbon footprint to protecting pollution, Yang Ming is becoming a good example to the future companies, to choose sustainability while doing business.   

10. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) 

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

This Japan-based logistics company has been able to include itself as one of the largest shippers in the world.   

MOL involves itself in international shipping and transporting goods from one location to another. Through ocean shipping, Mitsui added more value to global industries and communities.  

It is also counted as one of their corporate social strategies.  

Currently, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines operates a fleet of 104 containerships, consisting of large and small ships. This $11 bn company has 800 vessels, including oil, gas, automobile, and chemical freight vessels.    

Mitsui is currently aiming to make an investment of more than USD 4bn organic, which produces low carbon and supports sustainable practices. They focus on becoming an eco-friendly cargo shipper while producing low-carbon and convenient services for people.   

The Impact Of Globalization On Logistics Companies And Supply Chain 

Impact Of Globalization On Logistics Companies And Supply Chain 

As we all know, globalization mainly depicts the free movement of goods and services and people worldwide. It allows businesses to operate on an international level.   

Globalization omits all kinds of geographical boundaries. This easy communication helps companies enter new markets and stay more connected with their customers. 

Logistics companies can expand their customer base and explore new market opportunities. This further creates opportunities for the companies to increase their overall revenue and business growth. 

However, the global presence also seeks sustainable practices. The companies focus on efforts to decarbonize, reduce their carbon footprint, and fulfill other environmental responsibilities. 

Globalization may have provided many opportunities, but it also introduced potential challenges. The increased complexity in the supply chain, as well as the need to reach globally, shows the industry’s vulnerability.       

The Future Planning Of The Industry

Global shippers need to focus on practicing sustainability in their daily operations. If the shipping enhances sustainability and resilience in their supply chains, they can easily address climate change and societal challenges.  

The industry can opt for a green corridor, with routes specifically designed for low—to zero-carbon emissions. The main goal would be to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050.  

Latest technologies and clean fuel can play a huge role in establishing sustainability and walking towards decarbonization.  

For example, the United States is currently partnering internationally for domestic implementation. To meet its commitment, it is aiming to invest in better research.     

In Summary  

The largest shippers worldwide have a huge influence on the global supply chain. It has a greater impact on connecting manufacturers, distributors, and consumers from all across the world.  

The shipping industry is helping to reach the end users of products while focusing on sustainability. 

In the future, these companies will lead by example and help other shipping companies adopt innovation and expand their business.  

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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